Public Health News Roundup: June 24
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the top global public health achievements for the first ten years of the 21st century. Achievements include reductions in child mortality, access to safe water and sanitation and gains in the treatment and control of malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
A new report from the American Public Health Association finds that while the the Affordable Care Act reauthorized and created several new programs that could increase the supply and expertise of the public health workforce, only 11 of the 19 ACA provisions assessed in the report have received funding. And those those that have received monies have been funded at substantially lower levels than authorized. The report also notes that since 2008 nearly 20 percent of the governmental public health work force has been lost because of recession-related budget cuts. That has resulted in cuts to public health services such as immunizations and air and water monitoring.
A new report in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review has shown that a three year program to expand access to HIV testing in parts of the U.S. most affected by HIV has provided close to three million HIV tests and resulted in the diagnosis of over 18,000 people who were unaware they were infected with the virus.
Reuters is reporting that nearly a dozen people in Washington and Montana who had contact with infected goats have developed Q fever, a disease common in livestock but rare in humans. The illness causes flu-like symptoms, including fever.
A new study in the journal Medical Care has found that black patients are much more likely than white patients to initially go to hospitals for heart attack care that take longer to transfer their patients, regardless of race. Such transfers take place if the first hospital is not able to do certain cardiovascular procedures such as angioplasty. Researchers reviewed over 26,000 Medicare patient records and found that on average black patients waited six hours longer than whites to get higher level heart attack care if it was not available at the initial hospital.
A new study in the journal Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention finds that interventions by community health workers including referrals, education and support increase mammography screening rates in the U.S. In particular, researchers found that the rates increased in urban settings and among women with the same race and ethnic background as the health worker.
The Obama Administration today announced expanded Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation services, including comprehensive cessation coverage for pregnant women and funding for telephone quitlines.